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3 Habits for A Better Mind
Wisdom Letter #72 | Habits for A Better You
Hello and Welcome to The Wisdom Project. Your weekly dose of human curated wisdom in a world full of algorithmic noise.
The newness of the “new” year is wearing off now.
And with it, the sheen of your new year resolutions must also be coming off. You might have already given up on quite a few of them, and grinding through the others.
This is a good time to talk about the simplest and yet the most important habits that you can build in your life.
This is the time for real meaningful change.
Meaningful change happens through slow and steady persistence, not through an instantaneous flip of the calendar.
And sound habits are at the root of slow and steady persistence.
Over the next couple of weeks we will look at some of the most important habits you can build this year —> Habits for a better you.(and how to build them)
Kicking things off today, with 3 Habits for A Better Mind.
“A man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read”
— Mark Twain
Reading is the ultimate meta habit.
If you are good at reading, it will help you get better at almost everything else in life.
If you don’t already have a reading habit, yesterday was a good time to get started, today also works!
Some tips to get started with a reading habit—
Stop reading the News, Twitter, Facebook and rest of social media. That content just primes you to look for cheap dopamine hits that doesn’t add any value to your life.
Start with a fixed 15 minute slot in your day to read a book. Best time is early in the morning or late at night.
Keep your phone away for this period. (No don’t read on your phone, its a distraction machine)
Read on a Kindle or read a hard copy, make a choice and stick to it for some time.
Pick an easy book to start with, here we made some recommendations of books that are easy, interesting and add massive value.
Do this everyday for a week. (The best habits are the ones done daily)
Don’t fret over what topic you are reading, it can be fiction, non-fiction, chic lit, young adult, anything.
Just get the habit rolling. You will gravitate to the important stuff with time.
“Read what you love, until you love to read.” — Naval Ravikant
“The thing about meditation is: You become more and more YOU”
— David Lynch
A sound mind is the base for a healthy and fulfilling life. Meditation is an easy path to building a sound mind.
We are talking about mindfulness meditation here, not transcendental meditation. This is not about achieving nirvana, or even stopping your thoughts.
This is just about observing your thoughts, trying to run your mind in debug mode.
There are many unresolved threads that accumulate in our minds over the course of our life. Meditation is a way to be mindful of these threads.
Some tips to get started with meditation—
Start with 10 minutes a day. Set the timer on your phone (or get an app—Headspace is good), disable all notifications on it, get into a comfortable position, close your eyes and observe your mind.
Let the thoughts come and go, don’t dwell on anything for long. Try and focus on the breath. Count your breaths, that helps initially.
Do this for a week or so and you will start to feel the difference, your mind will start to feel a bit lighter.
Gradually increase the time after the initial couple of weeks.
With time, learn to practice mindfulness throughout the day, observe your thoughts in real time. Run your mind in Debug Mode.
Meditation will bring a sense of calm to your life. Achieve it, and cherish it.
“Brilliant things happen to calm mind. Be Calm. You’re brilliant”
“Writing is thinking on paper”
I have stopped forming opinions on things I haven’t written about yet.
When I want to form an opinion on something, I read about it, then sit down and write what I think about it, and then know what I actually think about it.
What goes on in our minds is so raw that it should not be considered as opinions.
Writing is the perfect way to think through stuff.
It helps to clear the cobwebs in your head, and forces you to articulate your half baked thoughts.
Don’t write to publish, but write to better your own thinking.
Some tips to build a writing habit—
Pick a system that you are comfortable with. Pen and Paper or a laptop(Not mobile).
Set aside half an hour at least once a week to write on any topic
Pick a topic that is occupying your mind and write it down at the top of the page.
And then just start writing whatever comes to mind.
Don’t worry about sentence structure or grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, just get all your ideas around that topic on the page.
Edit out the mistakes, re-read the stuff, and think about it now.
You will feel a sense of clarity about the topic. Some new insights will also emerge in the process of writing.
Do the 750 Words challenge to kickstart the writing habit.
It’s an amazing process to just get very comfortable with the process.
Throw away what you have written for a few weeks.
Then go back to it, read it with fresh eyes. You will see the flaws in your own thinking, and will also feel amazed by some stuff that you could write.
Writing gives you the ability to have a conversation with different versions of you.
Through writing, your past and present self can discuss a topic in depth. That is really a super power!
“Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on”
Thank you for reading, if you enjoyed this, lookout for next week’s post about the 3 Habits for A Better Body.
Here’s a quote to worth pondering—
“The Quality for your life often depends on the quality of your habits” — James Clear, Atomic Habits
Signing off, a simple question to think about—
What is the one thing you do everyday for better mental health?
This Week Last Year 👉 Heat of The Moment | Wisdom Letter #20
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This was Wisdom Letter #72. In case you want to revisit any of the previous 71 letters, checkout our entire archive.
Aditi & Ayush